With the one-year extension to KD Chaudhri, chairman cum managing director (CMD) of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), ending on February 8, hectic lobbying is on among power engineers for the coveted post for which the incumbent is eyeing another extension.
Besides the post of the CMD, four posts of directors in the corporation have been lying vacant for the past eight months.
While the CMD is hoping for another extension, the Power Engineers Association is lobbying for issuance of an advertisement for the post so that contenders can apply. The association has been opposing the trend of giving extension.
Last year, going against the wishes of the Association, the Punjab government had awarded one-year extension to Chaudhri by extending the retirement age from 62 to 65. The Association went to the high court against the decision, but the court decided in Chaudhri's favour saying the decision was on merit.
Though Chaudhri (63), who is close to the chief minister and deputy CM, has not made his intentions public, he has managed to divide the Association as many engineers have signed in his favour, commending his work. The Association has alleged that the CMD is armtwisting the engineers to get signatures in his favour.
"There is a strong possibility that Chaudhri will get another extension. Had the government not been in his favour, it would have issued an advertisement for the post. So far, no advertisement has been given, so there is all likelihood that Chaudhri may get extension," said an official.
For the post of directors, the state government is going slow after issuing the advertisement in August. Only the post of director, generation, has been filled and there is no progress in the selection of the remaining three directors even after four months.
The terms of director (commercial), director (finance) and director (distribution) expired in June and July last year, but they were asked to continue as the selection of new directors was under process. No advertisement was issued for the post of director (HRD), which is also lying vacant.
Sources said the interviews had been conducted and the government could announce the new directors any time, but there has been suspense on the post of the CMD.
Meanwhile, the PSEB Engineers Association, in a letter to the deputy chief minister, has asked him to keep his promise by issuing an advertisement for the post of the CMD.
Despite repeated attempts, power secretary Anirudh Tiwari could not be contacted for comment.